Stop the Bleed- how you can be an immediate responder
RAPID CITY, S.D. – First responders are in constant motion, responding to emergencies in the community, but sometimes, you might be the immediate responder, before professional help is on scene.
“We need citizens to be empowered to take care of emergencies at the point of injury. It’s the same concept with CPR and automated external defibrillators,” says Dustin Willett, Director of Emergency Management for Rapid City and Pennington County. “We need people right there willing to take action to save the lives of themselves, their loved ones or community members before first responders can sometimes arrive.”
“Stop the Bleed talks about 1- keeping yourself safe. We want to make sure that you don’t get hurt while you’re trying to help. 2- is accessing 911 making sure a trained professional help is on the way, making sure those first responders are coming while you’re functioning as an immediate responder. But accessing 911, calling 911 and then 3- hemorrhage control,” Willett adds.
There’s three easy steps in stopping the bleed once you’ve called for help- well aimed, direct pressure, compression or packing, and finally, using a tourniquet if possible. You don’t need much to be prepared to help.
“I like carrying gloves. I like carrying very small, compact CPR, face shields. And then from there, it’s really how much you want to carry,” says Willett.
If you’d like to learn to stop the bleed, another class is available Saturday, March 12 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and you can sign up here.
“It was a very interesting from the standpoint of how simple it is. It’s just a basic understanding of what needs to be done when you do come across somebody who hasn’t been treated like this,” adds Gary Drewes, Pennington County Commissioner.
You never know when you may get the chance to save a life.
“What’s it take? A little bit of time to learn things like this where you can maybe be beneficial to a family members, to somebody you don’t know,” Drewes says. “But we’re always around people, and so anything can happen.”